Noise in Boston
The Boston Municipal Code sets standards for reasonable noise levels. It also sets maximum acceptable noise levels for different times of day. An unreasonable level of noise is:
- anything louder than 50 decibels from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., or
- anything louder than 70 decibels at any time, except for permitted construction.
The Air Pollution Control Commission has also developed regulations that apply to residential, business, and industrial districts. If you have a noise complaint, you can report it to the appropriate authority using the “Who to Contact” section below.
Who to contact
Regular construction hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. For noise complaints about building construction:
- During construction hours, please contact Inspectional Services at ISD@boston.gov. You can also search approved building permits.
- After hours, please check the afterhours permit database. If you cannot locate a permit, call 311 to report unpermitted afterhours construction or contact Inspectional Services at ISD@boston.gov.
Roadwork is permitted by the Transportation Department and the Public Works Department. Please note that some roadwork may be permitted to occur at nighttime for emergency purposes. For complaints about roadwork construction:
Disturbing the peace
For noise complaints related to:
- Loud parties
- Car alarms
- Sound amplification devices
Please dial 9-1-1 or contact the community service liaison at your local precinct.
restaurants and entertainment venues
Do you have a concern about noise related to airplanes? Please contact the Massachusetts Port Authority:
Please note that, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 111 s. 31a, the City of Boston cannot set commercial waste pickup hours in areas zoned for business, commercial or industrial use.